Day At The Track

Supporting card results Little Brown Jug Day

09:05 AM 20 Sep 2019 NZST
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Plunge Blue Chip, harness racing Osterc, harness racing Worthy Of Honor, harness racing
Plunge Blue Chip winning the Ms. Versatility Final
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Osterc winning the Old Oaken Bucket
Conrad photo
Worthy Of Honor and driver Andy Miller
Conrad photo

Besides the Little Brown Jug races for three-year-old harness racing pacers, the undercard offered a variety of stakes action. The stakes will include divisions of the Standardbred for two-year-olds, multiple splits of the Ohio Breeders Championships, the Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotting colts, and the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for female trotters.

PLUNGE BLUE CHIP PREVAILS IN MISS VERSATILITY

Favoured Plunge Blue Chip made every call a winning one in capturing the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Leaving from post three in the field of seven, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt floated Plunge Blue Chip beside Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) before clearing to the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter. Plunge Blue Chip backed down the tempo and stole a 29-second quarter to reach the half in :56.2 before facing the stout challenge of Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman).

The intensity picked up to start the second lap as Plunge Blue Chip and Custom Cantab raced almost as a tandem down the backstretch. With a 1:23.4 third station, those two trotting titans would not give in until the final turn when Custom Cantab lost a few strides on the leader.

Plunge Blue Chip looked to have put the first-over challenger away but then faced a threat to her inside with Emoticon Hanover. Dube tried to angle Emoticon Hanover up the inside but two things prevented a late surge to the wire: a lack of room, and the will of Plunge Blue Chip, who hit the wire a neck the best in 1:52.1. Custom Cantab came back on in the stretch and was just nosed out by Emoticon Hanover to finish third.

"She was great today, it was a big mile, :52 here on the half-mile track," said Svanstedt. "Her last three races, she feels good and I hope she can still race good this year."

Svanstedt, who wasn't worried when Custom Cantab came to challenge, said that Plunge Blue Chip's next start would come at The Red Mile in Lexington.

Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) is owned Ake Svanstedt Inc. of Wrightstown, N.J., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of Wallkill, N.Y. and Tomas Andersson of Nossebro, Sweden. The win was just the second of the year for the world champion trotter but her 19th lifetime, and it lifted her purse earnings to $1,175,784.

WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT RETURNS!

After having not participated in a pari-mutuel race in three years, 2015 Little Brown Jug winner Wiggle It Jiggle It returned to the scene of what was arguably his greatest triumph.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, who thrilled the North America harness racing industry for 51 starts, 38 of which resulted in wins, was front and centre on Thursday, September 19, Little Brown Jug Day 2019 at Ohio’s Delaware County Fair.

It had been announced earlier in the week that Wiggle It Jiggleit would be racing in an overnight race (Race 12) on Jug Day – a tilt for colts and geldings that were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019. Wiggle It Jiggleit had been prepping for a return to the races with qualifying efforts in recent weeks (he had participated in four qualifying races since August 20).

The $4-million-earning son of Mr Wiggles lined up in Post 3 for his conditioned race and was ready to get it on early. The bay left well from the gate and was second into the first turn, as he chased Night Pro into the backstretch.

Teague called on Wiggle It Jiggleit early in the backstretch and cleared to the lead in the vicinity of the :27.4 quarter pole. He raced on the engine through to the :56.4 half, at which point the Brian Sears-driven Celestial Arden N was calling first-up from the backfield.

Wiggle It Jiggleit went on to race on the point through the 1:24.2 three quarters, with Sears and Celestial Arden N on his outside and looming large as the homestretch neared.

Celestial Arden N still had a lot of pace in reserve as Wiggle It Jiggleit was starting to feel the effects of his return trip. Celestial Arden N went on to score in 1:51.2 for Sears and trainer Ned Hodkinson and returned an $8.20 win mutuel.

Although defeated in the lane, Wiggle It Jiggleit fought all the way home and didn’t embarrass himself in any way. He held off the late bid of Born To Be Bad and was second under the wire.

The performance proved to be a mark-lowering mile for Celestial Arden N, a seven-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding that recorded his 16th career win in the process.

Hodkinson, of Blacklick, Ohio, is also the owner of Celestial Arden N.

OSTERC OUTLASTS FOES IN THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET

After having inherited the lead in the opening quarter of the Old Oaken Bucket (Race 8), the Per Engblom-trained and Yannick Gingras-driven Osterc ($3.60) refused to give up the point, as he went on to post a narrow victory in 1:54.4 in the $95,425 clash for three-year-old male trotters. Osterc, a son of Cantab Hall, was in the two-hole early, but he was given the lead when Union Forces made a break while on the point. After inheriting the top spot, Osterc went on to cut the fractions (:28.4, :58.3, 1:26) and hold on for a neck win. Mass Fortune K, who had taken a ground-saving trip trough the fractions, tried to sneak up the pylons late, but just ran out of real estate. Summit In Sight, who had raced first-up on the way home, was a close third when all was said and done.

Osterc, a bay colt, has now won four of his 13 seasonal starts and nine of his 20 career races. Osterc races for the ownership connections of Christina Takter (East Windsor, NJ) and Goran Falk (Allentown, NJ).

WORTHY OF HONOUR WIRES UP STANDARDBRED FOES

The second of the program’s Standardbred splits for two-year-olds took to the track for Race 4, and it was the Julie Miller-trained and Andy Miller-driven Worthy Of Honor ($6.60) that captured the $47,100 contest for freshman trotting colts and geldings. The bay colt by Cantab Hall—Honorable Daughter started from Post 5, made every call a winning one (:28.2, :58, 1:27), and went on to stop the clock in 1:56.4. The $90,000 Lexington Selected yearling caught a bit of a break in the third quarter when the first-up Emma Town Bud ran during his move for the lead. Worthy Of Honor was followed home by Moveoutofmyway K and Altus Hanover, who finished second and third, respectively. Worthy Of Honor, who has now won two of his nine career starts, is owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc. (Millstone Township, NJ), Jean Goehlen (Aurora, I), and Louis Willinger (Louisville, KY).

BIG BRUSH BY TRU LOU IN THE STANDARDBRED

Stakes action kicked off in Race 1, as the Ron Burke-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven Tru Lou ($6.80) utilized a big brush in the third quarter to soar to a 1:55.2 victory in the $48,100 Standardbred for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The gelded son of Sweet Lou—Real Touch sat third through the quarter (:28.1) and opening half (:57.3) before showing his class to the field. Kakaley sent Tru Lou first-up after the half and acquired the lead just before the 1:26.2 three quarter flashed to life. The bay cruised to victory from there on out and nailed the wire in 1:55.2.

Complete Kaos, who had cut the opening half, finished five lengths back in second, while Caviart Revere finished third. Tru Lou has now won two of his seven career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC (Fredericktown, PA), Knox Services Inc. (Mt Vernon, OH), Slaughter Racing Stb LLC (Prospect, KY) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA).

From the Little Brown Jug

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